HR Contingency Planning
The government has taken a number of very bold steps to sustain economic activity and support businesses and employees.
Employers are responding with a range of flexible and innovative measures to keep their businesses alive – reconfiguring the workplace to maintain social distancing; limiting face to face contact with the public; facilitating working from home.
Many of the measures introduced in response to the crisis will have a lasting impact on how businesses are organised and managed into the future.
Businesses should prepare operating plans which are flexible and sustainable – include closing remote locations and making alternative arrangements to provide for key staff members falling ill:
- Update staffing plans and rostering arrangements
- Identifying ‘at risk’ employees – pregnancy, immunosuppressed people
- Update contact details and communication links outside the office
- Consider holidays, family friendly leave and unpaid leave
Workplace – social distancing
Reconfigure the workplace to reduce close contact in the workplace and limit face to face contact with the public:
- Allow staff to work from home and avoid public transport
- Close remote locations
- Re-organise open plan areas to facilitate social distancing
- Introduce flexible working and staggered break times
To facilitate social distancing and protect ‘at risk’ employees many employers have introduced home working.
Ensure that employees have access to office systems – check network, equipment, communications and security arrangements.
Where working from home is not possible, employees have been facilitated by reduced working hours and time-off to facilitate childcare arrangements.
The government have introduced a number of direct payments and financial supports:
- The COVID 19 Wage Subsidy Scheme administered by the Revenue Commissioners
- The COVID 19 Pandemic Unemployment Benefit is available to employees and self-employed administered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
- Business Continuity Voucher (up to €2,500) administered by the Local Enterprise Offices